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(LEAD) N.K. condemns Moon's offer for talks over Pyongyang's end to provocations

All News 11:04 June 22, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS reaction from S. Korea's unification ministry in last 2 paras)

SEOUL, June 22 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Thursday rebuked President Moon Jae-in for suggesting that Seoul is open to unconditional talks if Pyongyang stops provocative acts, urging him to show a proper attitude toward inter-Korean ties.

The South Korean leader's move to take issue with North Korea's nuclear program is aimed at shifting responsibility for the frayed inter-Korean relations to North Korea, according to the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification, the North's agency in charge of inter-Korean affairs.

"He should stop a reckless and foolish words and deeds irritating the other party and have a proper attitude toward the north-south relations, to begin with," a committee spokesman was quoted by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) as saying in English.

The spokesman said that Moon is working hard to save face by finding fault with North Korea, calling the move "a self-destructive act."

North Korea's official agency made its first reaction to Moon's speech last week in which he proposed having inter-Korean dialogue if the North does not conduct additional provocations.

(LEAD) N.K. condemns Moon's offer for talks over Pyongyang's end to provocations - 1

On Wednesday, the Chosun Sinbo, a pro-North Korean newspaper based in Japan, made a similar condemnation for his speech delivered to mark the 17th anniversary of an inter-Korean summit on June 15, 2000.

The paper called Moon a "spokesman" for U.S. President Donald Trump, claiming that the South is joining the bandwagon of Washington's hostile policy toward Pyongyang.

Moon and Trump plan to hold their first summit next week, during which they will likely discuss how to coordinate their stance toward the North's nuclear issue.

Moon has vowed to take a dual-track approach of denuclearizing North Korea while seeking to hold talks with Pyongyang.

South Korea's unification ministry said that the international community has sent a concerted call for the North to stop the development of its nuclear and missile programs.

"North Korea needs to view (the current situation) as a grave one and accept calls by Seoul and the global community to bring peace and stability to the Korean Peninsula," said a ministry official.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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